Types of Assessment

Assessment is essential not only to guide the development of individual students but also to monitor and continuously improve the quality of our programs. There are different types of tests including:

 Formal Assessments
Informal Assessments
Classroom tests
District tests
Standardized test
Anecdotal notes
Student conferences
Informal conversations

Below is a list of state standardized tests and local assessments used by the District. To learn more about the type of exam and the goals of the assessment tool, click on the name and follow the link.
 Acronym Name
CogAT Cognitive Abilities Test 
DLM Dynamic Learning Maps
F&P Fountas and Pinnell  
IOWA Iowa Assessments
Illinois Snapshot of Early Literacy 
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers
Coming in 2014-2015
PS Performance Series

District 203 Local Assessments

Assessment tests used by the district include the CogAT, IOWA and Performance Series (PS).

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

Purpose: To provide a description of the student’s own cognitive resources for learning. CogAT measures general thinking and problem-solving skills and indicates how well the student uses these skills to solve verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal problems. It provides a picture of the student’s strength and weakness.

Verbal Battery: The Verbal Battery is comprised of three subtests: Verbal Analogies, Verbal Classification, and Sentence Completion.
Nonverbal Battery: The Nonverbal Battery is comprised of three subtests: Figure Matrices, Paper Folding, and Figure Classification.
Quantitative Battery: The Quantitative Battery is comprised of three subtests: Number Analogies, Number Puzzles, and Number Series.

Fountas and Pinnell (F&P)

Purpose: The Fountas and Pinnell is used as a deeper diagnostic assessment for reading.  A teacher listens to a student reading one on one to identify the independent, instructional, and frustration levels of students.  The teacher can alternate between a fiction or non-fiction leveled book. Dual Language students take it in English for Kindergarten through grade 5 and Spanish for Kindergarten through grade 2.  The RIGBY is used for grades 3 through 5 in Spanish, which is a comparable assessment.

IOWA Assessments

Purpose: To test the student’s ability in the areas of reading, vocabulary and math.

The IOWA Assessments measure student achievement and growth. It gives you information on how your child performs against a national sample of students in the same grade.

Components of the Test:
 Reading Administered in two parts, this test contains passages that vary in length from a few lines to a full page. Both literary passages (e.g., fiction, folk tales, essays, and poetry) and informational passages (e.g., expository science and social studies materials, procedural texts, and general nonfiction) are included. Many of the passages are excerpts from previously published works. A significant number of questions may require students to draw inferences or to generalize about what they have read.
 Vocabulary Each question presents a word in the context of a short phrase or sentence, and students select the answer that is the closest synonym for that word. Approximately equal numbers of nouns, verbs, and modifiers are included. Target words represent general vocabulary content rather than the specialized vocabulary used in various subject-matter areas.
 Math Administered in two parts.
Students must demonstrate an understanding of Mathematics concepts, relationships, visual representations, and problem solving. The questions deal with number sense and operations, algebraic patterns and connections, data analysis, probability, statistics, geometry, and measurement.
Reading the IOWA Assessments Results

National Percentile Rank (NPR) – The NPR indicates the percent of students in the same grade who obtained a lower grade than your student. NPR scores from 75-99 are in the above average range. NPR scores from 1-24 are in the below average range. Scores from 25-74 are in the low average to high average range. 

Illinois Snapshot of Early Literacy (ISEL)

Purpose: A multi-level system of support has a quick screener that allows schools to identify students’ achievement.  The Illinois Snapshots of Early Literacy (ISEL) is a great way to assess our primary students at the beginning of the year, monitor students we are concerned about during the winter, and see growth in spring. In our district, all students take the assessment in Kindergarten and 1st grade.  For the Dual Language program, students take the test in both English and Spanish.
For more information, please visit https://www.pdaisel.com/www/index.php/user/login/.

Performance Series (PS)

The Performance Series is a computer adaptive test given to students in Reading and Math. This test will give you a prediction of how your child will perform on the PARCC and ACT series of assessments.

Parent Guide - Introduction to Performance Series

The video below is an explanation of the Performance Series.